Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17.

Verse of the Day: “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another” (1 Peter 3:8, NIV).

“What are we doing here?” Russell asked as his Dad pulled the car into a parking lot of a strange church. He sat in the back seat, next to his brother, James.

“We’re going to worship here today,” Dad answered.

“What for?” Russell asked. “What’s wrong with our church?”

“Nothing’s wrong with our church,” Mom answered. “But we want you to understand that ‘our’ pastor, ‘our’ church, and ‘our’ style of worship are not all there is to the church.”

“OK,” Russell said. “I believe you. Now can we go?”

Dad exchanged smiles with Mom. “Give it a chance, Russell,” Dad said. “These people are our Christian brothers and sisters too.”

“But I don’t know anybody here.”

“You will,” Mom answered.

Russell and James both appeared nervous as they entered the unfamiliar church, but a smiling man greeted them at the door, and soon after they were seated in the sanctuary the service began. It was like no church service Russell had ever been a part of. For most of the service, he stared wide-eyed around him, wondering what was going to happen next.

Russell and his family stayed longer than they usually did after church and met a lot of new friends. On the way to the car, Russell said, “That was really cool. I like this church.”

Mom raised her eyebrows and cast a sidelong glance in Russell’s direction. “Well, you’ve certainly changed your tune!”

Russell shrugged. “It was cool,” he repeated.

“I’m glad you think so, Son,” Dad said. “Because God is pleased when his people are united. We may not all worship in the same building, or even in the same style, but God wants us to act like the brothers and sisters he has made us.”

Russell nodded and got into the car. As his father pulled the car out of the parking lot, Russell gazed back at the church building he had entered with such reluctance.

“Hey, Dad,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind coming back to this church sometime.”

Dad winked at his wife. “Neither would I, Russell.”

“Neither would I,” Mom added.

TO DO: If you can, make plans to visit a church that worships the Lord in a different place or style than you’re accustomed to. See the visit as a way of affirming your unity with all true Christian believers.

TO PRAY: Take time to pray for the different church families within your area and across the country.